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Clinton arrives in Cairo for Gaza truce talks

In further efforts to reach broker a ceasefire in Gaza, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Cairo to discuss the truce with Egypt President Mohamed Morsi

AFP , Wednesday 21 Nov 2012
Hillary Clinton and Mahmud Abbas
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah (Photo: AP)
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for talks with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, an airport official said, amid ongoing efforts to reach a truce deal in Gaza.

She is expected to go straight into a meeting with her Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Kamel Amr and with Morsi, who is playing a key role in mediating a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Clinton's visit comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed an bringing an end to the conflict which has killed over 130 people in a week.

She arrived from Israel where she held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while also travelling to the West Bank city of Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

During her Israel stopover, Clinton met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over the Egypt-mediated deal.

Hamas officials were locked into talks with Egyptian intelligence officials overnight to discuss the terms of the truce, an Egyptian source close to the talks told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Israel's offensive, launched on November 14 with the targeted killing of a Hamas military chief, has killed at least 136 Palestinians, while five Israelis, including a soldier, have been killed in rocket attacks.

A senior Hamas official told AFP in Cairo that a key sticking point in truce talks was the timing of when Israel would begin easing its six-year blockade of Gaza.

Netanyahu had told Clinton on Tuesday night that he was ready to agree to a "long-term solution" as long as the rocket attacks from Gaza stopped.

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